Religious Freedom > Gay Marriage?

In the words of Manhattan Mini Storage: “If you don’t like gay marriage, don’t get gay married.”

The Civil Rights Act was passed under the interstate commerce clause of the US Constitution. The interstate commerce clause was a federal mandate to ensure that nothing affects free trade. When I think about the Religious Freedom bill I wonder how it is passed? It is clearly designed to allow trade to be restricted like it was back before the 1960s. Except in this case, it is against the LGBT group instead of minorities.

Do we need religious freedom laws? The classic example that we often hear is about the bakery that does not want to make a cake for a gay wedding. Unless the couple asks the baker to make something obscene what really is the problem here? It is perfectly acceptable for a store owner to have policies in place regarding what they will and will not do. For example Walmart has rules in place for what they will put on cakes – they do not allow obscene pics or language.

This law in essence appears to be an unwillingness to “play nicely with others”. And isn’t that against the “christian way”? We don’t all have to see eye to eye but we do have to treat each other with respect and dignity. Not like school yard bullies who turn people away because they don’t fit the group mold. What happened to the Golden Rule??

There are a few stores around town that I will not frequent because of all their christian symbols such as giant crosses outside in the parking lots. It is not because I am anti-christian, but more that I feel that they are anti-other faiths.  As a person of another faith, a giant cross in the parking lot does not exactly make me feel welcome. But thanks to the free market I am welcome to take my business elsewhere where I may feel more welcome. That is an exercise of religious freedom in and of itself don’t you think?

Post update 10/13/2016 Here is a link to a recent survey on the issue by the PEW Research Center:

2. Americans divided over whether wedding-related businesses should be required to serve same-sex couples


Let me know your thoughts!



Separation of Church and State

In light of the recent events over Kim Davis and same sex marriage we entered into a lively discussion in our Federalism class.

The following post is a response from one of my fellow classmates, Ryan, to the question of the recent rulings on same sex-marriage:

Marriage IS an institution that is granted by the government. While you may have your wedding in a church, you first have to get the marriage license from the state government. This ruling actually re-instills a separation of church and state, as it allows a shared freedom to all citizens, not just those belonging to a particular religion.

Separation of church and state is a right that is often truncated. It is a freedom for one to practice their own religion, AS WELL AS a freedom from having someone elses religion forced upon you. Most people only the first half of that ideal. It is not the government’s place to say that a man can’t marry another man. A church can be against it all they want, and no one is forcing them to change their teachings. But a government cannot legislate religious beliefs.

It does not force any church to go against their teaching and force them to marry a same-sex couple. It just allows same-sex couples the same government-granted rights as every one else.

Even after the Supreme Court decision there is still a faction of government employees that are violating the separation of church and state. Court Clerks that are refusing to issue a marriage license to same-sex couples are injecting their religion into the political actions of the state. Clerks that issue licenses are acting as an extension of the government, not their church. Their disregard of their duties based on their religious ideals is a blatant violation of church and state. If they don’t want to execute their lawful duties, then they should find a new job.


What are your thoughts on his statement?